Nike takes steps toward more inclusive workplace with two exec resignations
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Nike takes steps toward more inclusive workplace with two exec resignations

If 2018 has had a social narrative so far it is one of gender parity. A string of high-profile exposés on sexual offenders and abusers at the end of 2017 led to the “Me Too” campaign, which has seen women speak out in solidarity about safety and harassment. And recent investigations have exposed the wage gap between genders at a number of the world’s biggest companies. Now, Nike is joining the race to make workplaces more female-friendly, as two high-ranking execs step down amid concerns about “conduct towards women”.

Nike’s share price is up by 5% so far this year

graph 2003 nike

SOURCE: Yahoo Finance

On Friday, Nike announced that Jayme Martin, vice president and general manager of global categories, was “no longer with the company”. His leaving follows Thursday’s news that Trevor Edwards, to whom Martin reported, had stepped down from his role as President of Nike’s brand. According to the Wall Street Journal, these sudden exits are the result of “the bullying of women and workers from outside the U.S.” Specifically, the Journal alleges that Martin and Edwards protected men who were responsible for the mistreatment.

Spokesman Greg Rossiter said that their had been “no direct allegations” against Edwards, but added that “there had been conduct inconsistent with Nike’s principles and we are taking the appropriate actions.”

Edwards had once been touted as a replacement for Nike’s long-serving CEO Mark Parker, who has agreed to continue on in the role beyond 2020 (when he will be 65) as a result. This has alleviated at least some concerns. Arguing that the shake up was not a sign of “business deterioration,” Wedbush analyst Christopher Svezia issued a report, where he wrote: “we are also encouraged by Mr. Parker’s extended tenure as CEO, which we argue is good for the company.”

In an internal memo, Mr. Parker spoke of the importance of Nike’s “core values of inclusivity, respect and empowerment,” and praised “strong and courageous employees.” Speaking about his plans to lead the company longer than anticipated, he told the press: “I am committed to stay in my role as chairman, president, and CEO beyond 2020.”

Disclosure

Dominion holds Nike in its Global Trends Luxury Fund.


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